How to keep teams happy, motivated and productive during coronavirus.
With the Covid-19 pandemic seeing remote working become more widespread than ever before, the pressure is really on for leaders, managers and supervisors to ensure that standards don't slip and that teams remain as productive as possible.
As many members of staff are probably not familiar with working from home, here are a few tips to help leaders ensure their teams are happy, motivated and able to keep those business wheels turning in this period of uncertainty…
Set clear, fair KPI's from the start
With the world thrown into turmoil, having a set series of goals to achieve on a daily basis offers a much needed structure for members of your team as they start to work from home.
To ensure that these goals are achievable, you may need to prioritise certain tasks over others and slowly ramp things up as a new 'normal' way of working becomes embedded in their consciousness.
Remember, some team members might be quicker to adapt to this new working routine, so give everyone a week or so to get up to speed and be sure to revisit these KPI's at regular intervals.
Keep the personal touch
The reasons why we go to work are various and complex, so when that level of personal interaction that we enjoy daily is taken away, our mental health can start to suffer.
Utilising technology and apps, keeps a channel of communication with your team open at all times so that they can come to you with any issues they are experiencing.
Setting up a SLACK or WhatsApp group for your team is also a good idea too, as you’ll be able to speak to them as a whole with any important updates and create a digital space for them all to communicate and maintain a good level of personal interaction.
Some apps and services such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Hangouts also offer free video calling for groups, so everyone can catch up on their coffee break as they would in the office creating a sense being connected.
Expert say that seeing someone over a screen mimics the mental health lift of socialising in person so don’t underestimate the impact casual catch-ups can have on morale.
Schedule in regular 1 to 1 catch ups with each of your team and ask how they are coping - offering other lines of support and help may be beneficial for them during this time. The charity MIND is a great place to start
Set productive routines
Working from home can throw the standard 9 to 5 routine completely out of balance, but as team leader, it’s your job to keep a close eye on productivity levels and ensure client deliverables are being met.
Some staff may go above and beyond and be spending far more time working than is healthy with little downtime out of a sense of duty, whereas others may be finding it hard to concentrate properly – especially if they have children.
In these cases, make sure that you set a solid routine that works for them as best you can; a little flexibility goes a long way to help improve employee motivation in these uncertain times.
Work with each of your team members to find their ideal working pattern and devise a structure so these can be accommodated with the needs of the business as much as possible.
Remind your employees to take breaks too - whether that be a group call or everyone has a walk during lunch.